Monday 24 July 2023
Saturday 22 July 2023
I was raring to go. I was pumped. I leapt out of bed, showered, clattered out of my hotel and across the silent plaza at Amsterdam Zuid. It was early enough to be dewy still as I headed under the motorway and into the station. A swipe of the app, through the barriers and up to the platform to find... no trains. In my enthusiasm to get out, I'd neglected to notice that on a Sunday the trains don't start until 07:38. I had half an hour to kill on the platform.
I walked along the canal path and got closer to the windmill. It was marked with Anno 1792, and a neat little plaque gave its history to passers by.
No, the odd faces in front of station signs aren't any better just because I'm abroad.
Friday 21 July 2023
The BF has a friend. I know, I'm as surprised as you.
For years now they've gone on a little mini break in the summer. Somewhere in Europe for a few days. Nice little trip away. I've not partaken, because I think you should sometimes have separate experiences as a couple, and let's be honest sometimes it's nice to have a break. Instead I've often travelled across the UK for this blog. Wales perhaps, or the Isle of Wight. Something like that.
This time, the first trip post-pandemic, they decided to go to Berlin. And a small thought occurred to me. I could go somewhere in the UK for my trip. Or I could go abroad. Look around another city's railway. Proper underground stations instead of pootling round the English countryside. But where?
The first warning sign was the general lateness of the plane. It was an hour past schedule when we finally got to the gate. We passed through the passport check, waited to board, then got a message, shouted at us by the girl on the desk: there was no pilot for our plane, so we were all being "deboarded", a word I have never heard before and I'm pretty sure she'd made up. We headed back to the gate to wait some more.